Volkswagen and Audi are quietly looking to see if there’s any interest in buying their motorcycle brand, Ducati, according to a report from Reuters.
The Volkswagen Group is reportedly trying to streamline operations, divesting itself of any non-essential assets and, by doing so, trying to also cut costs.
Unnamed sources told Reuters that VW has tasked investment bank Evercore with looking at ways to pare down its offerings, and that includes the sale of Ducati, which Audi bought in 2012 for about $935 million.
The good news for VW is that Ducati could be worth up to $1.6 billion, though a banker with knowledge of the industry told Reuters that potential buyers will likely look to pay only about $1.1 billion. Huh. Huge multi-national corporations: they really are just like us.
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Volkswagen likely isn’t desperate to sell the brand, since Ducati still earns about $109 million a year. Interest in electrification and a hefty dieselgate bill do mean that VW is looking simplify its books, though.
Ducati was purchased while VW was under the control of Ferdinand Piech. The move was questioned by analysts at the time, who argued that purchasing Ducati did more for Piech’s ego than for VW’s bottom line.
With their public divorce, it may be that the former CEO’s departure freed VW up to sell the motorcycle manufacturer, though analysts have long presumed that Ducati would be the first to hit the chopping block.
This article originally appeared on VWVortex.com